Saturday, 15 February 2014

The Terrors Of Having A Body; Learning To Feel At Home

Every week things seem to be moving just a little bit further ahead with the whole getting settled in Germany thing which is still my main project at this point. I have an apartment in Karlsruhe, even though it is in a poorly maintained state and still needs a lot of attention to be fully usable. Two days ago I finally got the full use of the bathroom with the sink in it usable for the first time. Major maintenance on the electricity grid and floors is still pending before I can use all light points, switches and rooms. I also almost got a kitchen, but Ikea no longer sells the series I wanted (Udden) and never told me on the site or kitchen planner. All quite annoying.

In other areas there is progress too, with me having a German tax ID and almost-but-not-quite-yet health insurance. Despite me currently sitting at home with a bad cold, I can say that despite all of the issues with this place (even the ticking noises from the radiators) and despite the lack of furniture, a kitchen and food storage options, it's slowly beginning to feel like a home. That is to say that I can feel that the general feeling of being threatened is decreasing when I'm sitting here at my new desk, for example. With some more effort and luck this may actually turn into a proper home for at least a while.

I wrote about this before, though, but there isn't just one type of home. There is the building type, the location where it's built and the memories you have of the place. The other type of home is one's own body. This is also the most important home of all, for the simple reason that if you don't feel at home in your own body, you won't feel at home anywhere. This is the part where I'm still struggling so much at this point and not making a whole lot of progress.

During the past decades I have learned to smile and say that I'm fine whenever people ask me how I am, regardless of how I truly feel. It's a lie which seeps into your own programming, to the point where you almost begin to believe that it's true. As an earlier post already made abundantly clear, I'm most definitely not fine at this point. No one could be fine after living a confusing false identity for a long time, followed by state-sponsored torture for a decade which involved breaking down the very essence of what defines me as a person.

I don't know who or what I am. I know what others think they see and know about me and kind of go along with that, but I have no certainty there. I know that if given a choice I'd retreat into some dark room with an infinite supply of computer and other parts, a fast internet connection and no one to ever bother me. Not much different from how I lived my life since I was about 6 years old basically, only then it started off with a large supply of books. Yet I'm not sure that's really who I am either. It feels more like escaping into intellectualism, which in itself isn't a bad thing, but doing so does mean neglecting one's body and social contacts. That too doesn't seem right.

While I'm not entirely sure what it means to feel at home in one's own body I do know that the first step is to learn all the important facts about said body. After that you can learn to accept those facts and only then can you begin to feel at home in this body, having accepted any issues for what they are. Here I think is where the problem lies for me. For me this fact search started as for everyone when I was only a child, only I didn't get many results due to having been deceived about the fundamentals. I wasn't a male, I wasn't fertile as one, I couldn't live or think as one. And yet I was taught that exactly these things were true and right.

I left physical puberty due to this without any true facts about my body, only a collection of lies and falsehoods. What I thought I knew about my own body was all wrong and false. Then, as I began to discover this startling fact now a decade ago my renewed fact finding mission got blocked by so-called professionals, informing me bluntly that everything I had been told before about me being a regular, biological male, was all true. This resulted in another diagnosis getting forced upon me, that of me being transgender, of suffering from some kind of gender dysphoria. This while I wasn't concerned with gender or physical sex at all.

True, I wanted to live in a female role, but this based on the fact that I already looked far more like a woman than a man and felt comfortable living like the former. Thus my own fact finding mission began to unearth facts which clashed dramatically with the 'facts' offered by said Dutch professionals. When my own theories got supported by facts from German physicians things just got more confusing. Who was right, what was going on and why was this all happening to me?

My body became a battleground. It's about as inhospitable as one can make a body. It's impossible to look at a body like that afterwards and not just see the countless battle scars with ragged, torn-up soil, blood, corpses and the scavengers picking their way through the remains. It's all I can see even today when I think of or look at my body. This image or sensation has become intertwined with all that is related to a body, due to the gender-focus in particular things like sexuality and relationships. I can not see, hear or read about any of these and related things without it bringing back the war I am still fighting in a way. This is why to me sexuality and relationships are terrible, horrible things. Examples of misery, pain, death and decay. Just like war.

I know that this all isn't right. It's not healthy and will make my life impossible in the long run. To fix it I need to properly end this war. Because even today I haven't won yet. Despite getting my official gender and first name changed. Despite everything I have accomplished so far. I'm still standing in the midst of this battleground, seeing the battle rage around me, with sometimes faceless, sometimes beautiful men and women dying in gruesome ways right next to me, their warm blood flowing over the already saturated ground. If I want to end this madness, this incomparable insanity, I need to finish my fact finding mission.

Despite everything I still don't believe that I'm intersex, or a hermaphrodite, or an adult for that matter. Part of me doesn't believe this at least. Not while the ultimate proof and conclusion of the medical chapter is still waiting. The one thing which I knew would have to happen even when I had just started my mission: the Final Surgery. The event which would give me the body I was already born with but which I was never able to use due to complications. There would be no more pertinent or urgent questions after this. No more searching for doctors, surgeons or just anyone who would take me seriously.

I'm still trying to get a clarification from my current German surgeon on which type of surgery he is thinking of doing exactly, but it appears that he isn't really one for email so I'm trying to find a way around that. I'm also having others search for other surgeons in case this surgeon doesn't work out after all.

I so do hope that it all works out now and I can finally finish my fact finding mission. Only two decades too late, for I have no idea whether it will suffice to truly give me back my body and with it the feeling of it being my home. Still, it's the best and only shot I have at this.


No comments: